Articles/Essays From Pagans
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
October 10th. 2016 ...
Witchcraft from the Outside
September 11th. 2016 ...
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
September 3rd. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
Magic in Sentences
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Your Moral Compass: Cursework for College
Article ID: 15044
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,636
Times Read: 3,920
RSS Views: 17,783
Author: Deborah Castellano
Posted: June 17th. 2012
Times Viewed: 3,920
A while back I foolishly agreed to teach Hoodoo 101 to the college kids in the Pagan club at my alma mater. And I like promised the president that there would be absolutely no discussion on curse work whatsoever.
About that. So I'm droning about the history of Hoodoo and the differences between Hoodoo and Voodou and how it came to our country and frankly even boring myself as the kids all were visibly twitching to have to listen to me and not text or be boning each other out while their roommates watch while rolling on E pills or whatever they're doing now but we all brighten up when I get to the practical applications that I carefully redacted to be both appropriate to college kids' needs and not discussing The Dark Arts.
We chatter about fast luck and how to do well in an interview blah de blahblah. They get interested and ask about source books. Of course, I recommend cat yronwode's seminal work, but there's not like a redacted version of it so I say vaguely that it's not all positive work so keep that in mind and I kept it moving. Much like my lazy fat house cats they went from only vaguely aware of their surroundings to HIGH ALERT! BUG! BUG! IT'S A BUG!
Them: What do you mean?
The President: (suspious side eye)
Them: No, we're totes awake now and ready and willing to push back our E pill orgy and pizza party in dorm room party for this.
Me: The President and I spoke on this issue and it's specifically against your club's charter for me to discuss this.
The President: (approving to me, apologetic to them)
Them: You have said the words we have longed to hear! Forbidden knowledge! It's why we came to college! That and getting away from our smothering parents! (closes the door and shuts the blinds like a real sekrit society does!)
Me: (oh Lordess, I'm boned) (looks to The President)
The President: (nods)
I had a real moral quandary that I thought I had shielded myself from - do I tell them or do I let them learn about it on the streets the internet where the information will be just that - information coming from a source they've never met and has no stake in their lives or even a face to them? They are adults but they're still young and impressionable in American society and frankly have probably hereto forth never even read a book yet that even whispers about The Dark Arts, it's most likely been mostly beginner Llewellyn stuff.
I took a deep breath and I dove in:
“Okay. This is where your moral compass that we keep talking about becomes incredibly important. Karma doesn't work the way that most Americans think of it; it's slow, it's accumulated over lifetimes and it represents both the good and the bad. And while the Law of Three is a nice idea that's meant to keep you from getting involved in some seriously dumb stuff, it doesn't often work in a way that's observable. I can't tell you what the right thing to do is going to be for you. We don't have a manual or a list of rules to follow as Pagans like a lot of religions do. As young adult Pagans it's critical that you start figuring out what you think is right and wrong now.
What are you willing to do magically and in life? Where is your line in the sand that goes too far? Whenever you work magic, you're thrusting your will over something. Do you need consent for you to do magic for another person? You need to decide that. You need to decide if you want to get involved with exerting your will over other people specifically. A mentor of mine once told me that some of the worst things she's done magically have been with good intentions and some of the best things she's done have been with bad intentions.
You also need to understand that in Hoodoo, curse work is called a mess for a reason. Do not get yourself into a mess that you can't get yourself out of because I'm sure as hell not going to rush in to help you. Don't ever rush into curse work. If you're angry and not being sensible, it's not a good place to do curse work, you will likely do something you regret. Always give it at least three days to see if you want to tie yourself up further with the person you're angry with because make no mistake about it, you will be tying yourself up closer with this person.
Sometimes it will be worth it. Sometimes it won't be. Sometimes your magic will work in a way you won't expect it to. Oftentimes it will in fact. Sometimes it will work better than you wanted it to. Love spells are all fun and games until you need to get a restraining order on someone. You need to think about if you want someone to be with you because they feel compelled to be. You need to make sure to do omen/divination work before you get involved with cursing. Bottle spells can work like this. Love spells can work like that.
Make sure you are mindful about your personal concerns. Make sure you are mindful about others' personal concerns that may behoove you to have. When I once asked a Witch what to do if you don't have them, she calmly remarked, 'But why wouldn't you?' If you're not willing to do what a curse work asks, you're likely not really ready to take that step. And that's okay. It's okay if you never work a curse in your life. But make sure you know if someone's been working you. Most of the time, no one is working on you. Know the difference between crossed conditions, random bad luck and focused ill intention. Get a second opinion.”
And . . .that's where I stand on the whole morality issue when it comes to magical gray areas. It's personal. That's part of what's both great and terrible about being part of a group of people who don't have a list of specific rules to govern us, some of us are on board with things like love philters and some of us are appalled by it. Some of us say, well, it depends. But you need to know where you stand, you need to know where your conscious is and only you can really dictate that for yourself as an Occultist/Pagan. It's thrilling, scary and uncertain, just like the Universe.
Personal Concerns - http://forum.luckymojo.com/personal-concerns-hair, -photo, -etc-questions-and-answers-t9215s150.html
Location: , New Jersey
Author's Profile: To learn more about Deborah Castellano - Click HERE
Bio: Deborah blogs regularly over at Charmed, I'm Sure: A Finishing School for Dropout Dilettantes Discussing Charms, Hexes, Housewifery, Hearth Witchery and Deportment
Other Articles: Deborah Castellano has posted 29 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Deborah Castellano... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2016 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).